Cubs deal with crazy, walk away with win

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Cubs deal with crazy, walk away with win

By Paul LaTour
CSNChicago.com Contributor

On a crazy Sunday across major league baseball, the Cubs did their part in adding to it.

David DeJesus drove in the winning run with a bases-loaded walk in the 11th inning as the Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 in the rubber match of a three-game series against one of the National Leagues top teams.

A walk-off walk, its kind of weird, DeJesus said. I didnt know what to do, just trot on over to first base. But that was a good win for us. This could be a momentum builder for us.

The crazy thing for DeJesus was that he saw not one, but two ball fours against Dodgers right-hander Jamey Wright (1-2). Unlike the first, DeJesus was able to hold up on the second one to score Darwin Barney.

I was going to be aggressive on the 3-1 pitch and drive the ball the opposite way, DeJesus said of whiffing on what appeared to be ball four. At 3-2 I wanted to lock back in. I was able to see it early and know it was a ball.

DeJesus heroics came after he was thrown out at the plate trying to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a Tony Campana double. It was only the second hit of the game for the Cubs with runners in scoring position after numerous chances throughout. They finished 2 for 15 in that category.

Need more crazy? The Cubs were so depleted on the bench from a virus running rampant through the clubhouse they needed Ian Stewart to pinch-hit in the ninth after he was kept out of the starting lineup because of said virus.

Stewart came through with a single and eventually scored the tying run on Campanas double despite being so sick he couldnt see straight.

Stewart was about as sick as you could be, manager Dale Sveum said. And he came up with a huge hit. That was an interesting game -- it took us almost all 25 guys to do it, let alone (needing) the sick guys coming off the couch.

Wait, theres more.

Emergency starter Travis Wood threw six innings despite allowing all three runs and all four hits against him in the first three innings. He retired the final 11 batters he faced after a two-run home run to Juan Rivera that gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

Wood threw 100 pitches, but only 28 after needing 72 to get through those initial three frames. Oh, and for good measure, he collected a pair of hits to tie his career high. That included a third-inning double that led him to eventually score on a two-run single by Starlin Castro -- the Cubs only other hit with runners in scoring position.

My pitches really started working toward the end of the (third) inning, said Wood, who started in place of virus-victim Matt Garza. I didnt feel like I was nervous or anything, but I dont know, I probably was and didnt know it.

The Cubs were able to load the bases in the 11th thanks to a little more craziness. Jeff Samardzija -- Mondays scheduled starter -- was called upon to pinch-hit after Barney doubled and Welington Castillo was intentionally walked to start the inning against Wright.

Instead of bunting as planned, Samardzija reached when he was hit by a pitch. DeJesus followed with the winning walk.

Still need more craziness? Dont forget the game started 2 hours and 41 minutes late after a delay caused by two separate thunderstorms passing through the area.

When everything was finally finished, the Cubs came away with only their second series win of the season. They did it against a team that began the day tied for the NL lead with the Washington Nationals.

Talk about crazy.

Rangers win riveting goaltending duel over Blackhawks in overtime

Rangers win riveting goaltending duel over Blackhawks in overtime

Antti Raanta stopped all 26 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season and Nick Holden netted the winner as the New York Rangers beat the Blackhawks 1-0 in overtime on Friday night.

The Blackhawks, playing without Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford, are now 1-2-1 in their last four games. Nevertheless, they remain atop the Western Conference with 38 points.

Scott Darling stopped 36 of 37 shots in the loss.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Two seasons ago Darling and Raanta battled for the Blackhawks’ backup spot. Friday marked their first head-to-head matchup, and it was stellar.

The Blackhawks thought they broke the scoreless tie six minutes into the third period, when Marian Hossa got one past Raanta. But the Rangers challenged for offside and officials agreed, nullifying the goal.

Blackhawks preparing for EPIX all-access look leading up to Winter Classic

Blackhawks preparing for EPIX all-access look leading up to Winter Classic

The 2017 Winter Classic featuring the Blackhawks and Blues is right around the corner.

Players from both sides already squared off in a game of NHL 17 to generate some hype into the game, but nothing compares to behind-the-scenes footage of the two teams leading up to it.

Beginning Dec. 16 at 9 p.m., EPIX will air a one-hour episode each week that provides an all-access look inside the lives of the Blackhawks and Blues, on and off the ice.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The game will be on Jan. 2 at 12 p.m. on NBC, with the final episode airing Friday, Jan. 6.

Here's a two-minute preview involving the Blackhawks, who are labeled "A Good Bunch of Guys."